By Alok Saboo on August 18th, 2010
In our last article, we discussed how to provide pseudo-SIP support to Google Talk using iNum. Continuing this series, today, we discus how to use iNums to provide (pseudo) SIP support to Skype. We all know and have complained on several occasions in the past about the closed nature of Skype. Despite being a dominant player in the VoIP space, Skype is inexplicably closed – providing no easy ways to access the service without paying for it. In our earlier tutorials, we explained how to call your Skype contacts for (almost) free without using Skype and how you can receive free incoming calls on Skype without paying for SkypeIN using Ring2Skype. Today, we discus yet another approach to extend Skype to provide interoperability with other providers.
You need the following to use this tutorial:
- Skype account (duh). If you do not have one already, you can create a free Skype account here.
- Rebtel account – Create a free Rebtel account, if you do not already have one. You get a free call and that is all you need to get started. Although Rebtel is a great service and I would encourage you to try it out, you do not have to add any credits to your account use this tutorial. Rebtel provides a great feature that allows you to assign unique iNums to your Skype contacts, something that is critical for this trick.
- Finally, you need an iNum to provide the interconnectivity. Read our earlier article for a complete overview of iNum and how to get one for FREE.
Making SIP calls to Skype contacts
Here’s a step by step guide to make calls to your Skype contacts from a SIP device:
- Add your iNum as another number in your Rebtel account. This will allow your account to be accessed using the iNum configured on a SIP device. You will have to validate your iNum before you can use it.
- Make the iNum that you just added as a preferred number. This will convert all local numbers for your contacts to iNums.
- Add the Skype contact that you need to call.
- Note the iNum that Rebtel assigns to your Skype contact.
- Just dial this number from your iNum account. You may need to prefix this number with 011883, 00883 or 883 depending on your iNum provider.
Since Rebtel does not charge for calls to Skype and calls to iNums are usually free, both legs are FREE.
Receiving calls from Skype contacts on a SIP device
In case you want to receive calls from your Skype contacts on a SIP device, you can use the following instructions:
- After you add your Skype contact in Step 3 in the previous part, Rebtel provides a two way mapping, i.e., it generates an iNum that maps to your Skype contact and also a unique Skype id that maps to your iNum account.
- You can provide this Skype id to your contact in order to call you. The id is in the format rebtel_skype_buddyXX (XX = 01-99).
- Your contact can add this contact as a friend and make calls like he or she would call any other Skype contact.
- The call will land on the SIP device where you have configured the iNum.
That’s it, you are ready to make and receive calls from Skype using a SIP device. The following video provides a detailed walkthrough of the entire process along with a demo.
If you haven’t already figured out, this can be a fairly useful trick. You can configure your iNum account on a SIP softphone or ATA and that ways you do not have to be online to be accessible on Skype. I use this so that my friends/family in India can get in touch with me at their convenience and it has worked perfectly so far. If you found this tutorial useful, please spread the word so that your friends and family can also take advantage of this